the quarterback and throw passes into the weak spots. Recently Jaworski stood
in a doorway at NFL Films' offices in New Jersey and watched as Greg Cosell,
executive producer of NFL Matchup, cued up a play from the Lions-Rams game in
Week 4. St. Louis's Mark Bulger dropped five steps and found wideout Isaac
Bruce 19 yards deep on the right sideline, behind the corner and just before
the safety arrived. "That's the sweet spot--18, 19 yards on the
sideline," Jaworski said. "Any less and the guy is still jammed, any
more and the receiver's in the hospital. And it takes a great throw."
Another weak spot
is the deep middle (unless the linebacker is Urlacher). "That guy will be
open on the post," says Spurrier. "But it takes time--that's the
One other method:
Get ahead. When the defense is playing Tampa Two, the offense is forced to burn
the clock, which no trailing team can afford. When the Bears fell behind
Arizona in October, they abandoned Tampa Two almost entirely.
Back to Soldier
Field now, to that October play. It was, in fact, a Tampa Two symphony. Corners
Tillman and Nathan Vasher got solid jams on Seattle's outside receivers.
Urlacher ran straight down the middle with slot wideout Darrell Jackson.
Nickelback Manning locked on Engram, and Briggs floated between Engram and
receiver Deion Branch. By watching Hasselbeck's eyes, Briggs correctly guessed
he wasn't going to throw left to Branch. Just as Hasselbeck started to make his
reads, the pocket began collapsing as Harris attacked up the middle and Brown
came from the outside. With no other choice, Hasselbeck went to Engram; even if
the pass had been completed, the play would not have been a first down. One
small victory in a game of endless battles.
continues long after the game ends. "I guarantee you, people are all over
this defense in their film study," says Carroll. "They're figuring it
out." And the next innovation awaits.
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